Bonded Males Fighting

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Luna&Ralph, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Apr 10, 2018 #1

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

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    Hi everyone!
    I adopted a bonded pair of boys from the SPCA a week ago, and they are supposedly around a year old. I got them as companions for my almost 2 1/2 year old hairless boy who has been alone for about a month after the passing of his brothers while I tried to find him some friends.

    The new boys are still in quarantine, and I will not even begin intros for at least another week because one of the boys just got over a URI from stress and mites that the SPCA treated him for, and he has been sneezing quite a bit of porphyrin since I've had him but it seems to be lessening.

    When I cleaned the quarantine cage the other day, I noticed a large spot red on one of the towels that had been in the cage. I thought that it was possibly a large build up of porphyrin from the high stress of the one boy, but I found out today that it was definitely blood. This morning, I saw a fair amount of blood on the shoulder of one of the boys, but he acted completely normally and was in no way distant to his cagemate. I cleaned him up and he immediately went back into the cage to be groomed by his friend.

    I am so confused, since this is the second time they've drawn blood from each other (I have not determined who was bleeding the first time and the one who was not bleeding this time is usually quite submissive so it's hard to tell) I'm thinking that I should separate them so they don't do any more damage, but they have such a strong bond and I feel like they need each other for their transition to a new house. There was a decent about of blood splatter in the cage but the wound stopped bleeding quickly and the previous one also must have healed quickly because I could not find anything on them the other day.

    Any advice would be much appreciated! I am also terrified that one or both of them will attack my hairless boy because he has even less protection and don't want to even introduce them until I get this sorted out. I don't really want to take either of them back to the SPCA, but I'm afraid that they'll keep hurting each other and I can't afford to neuter either of them right now because I just paid for a culture and sensitivity for my rabbit.
     
  2. Apr 11, 2018 #2

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

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    You say that they have drawn blood from each other before, what happened? They fight with each other?
    It's hard sometimes to differentiate before blood and porphyrin. Even on the shoulder, if a rat has a lot of porphyrin and grooms themselves, they will drag the porphyrin to their shoulders. Any chance we cold get a photo? Another scenario, one of your boys can have a bladder infection. They would leave bloody spots on the bedding and if they "mark" their buddy, they would leave droplets of blood there too. Males are known to scent mark their buddies.
     
  3. Apr 11, 2018 #3

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

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    I didn’t see what happened the first time and just saw a pretty big red stain on one of their towels at their first cage clean, it was a bit smaller than the size of a baseball. That stain could have been porphyrin because it dried reddish brown and didn’t smell very good and not like iron. I checked them over at that point because I wondered if they fought and they were both fine, but one of them is still afraid of being held so I couldn’t check him that well and he’s brown so I may have missed something.
    They do fight, and they pin each other to groom each other but I wouldn’t call it aggressive necessarily, just typical play fighting.
    Unfortunaltely I was so worried that I didn’t get a photo but I’ll check his shoulder tonight and see if there are bite marks. He must have been bitten not long before I woke up because the spot was still wet when I saw it but dried up pretty quickly after being cleaned, but when it was still wet it was bright red like blood.
     
  4. Apr 11, 2018 #4

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

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    There are definitely scabs on his shoulder where he was bleeding yesterday, but they seem to be healing really well so the bite must not have been too deep
     
  5. Apr 11, 2018 #5

    jorats

    jorats

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    Are they tiny little scabs or 1 long one?
     
  6. Apr 11, 2018 #6

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

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    Tiny little scabs, which is odd because it was a lot of blood considering the size of them
     
  7. Apr 12, 2018 #7

    jorats

    jorats

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    Tiny little scabs is almost always an indication of mites or lice. You should get all your rats treated with Revolution and I bet you will see a change in their behaviour.
     
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  8. Apr 12, 2018 #8

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

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    Thank you so much for your advice! They were just treated for mites so I didn't even see that as a possibility but it does make sense given that the scabs look similar to scabs from mites that I've seen before. I'll try some Revolution and see if it helps!
     
  9. Apr 13, 2018 #9

    Luna&Ralph

    Luna&Ralph

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    Ok so I was about to put some Revolution on and I guess I just saw specks of dried blood the first time because there was definitely 1 long cut. I know I probably shouldn’t have because of the somewhat open wound but I treated them with Revolution just in case anyway because I had already opened it and it’s so expensive. It’s a little blurry but this is a photo of it
     

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  10. Apr 13, 2018 #10

    jorats

    jorats

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    Ah, ok, that's a typical spot for gashes. Hopefully the revolution will make them feel better end not be at each other. But if that continues, the bully should be neutered.
     
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  11. Apr 14, 2018 at 3:05 AM #11

    Luna&Ralph

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    Ok, I’ll definitely do that if it keeps up. Thanks!
     

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